Rainforests: Home to Coffee, Chocolate, and Medicines

Chances are good that you've probably heard about rainforests. You can probably even come up with a picture in your head of what the rainforest is supposed to look like. But do you know how important the rainforests are to the world? Do you know how important the rainforests are to your everyday life? Today, the rainforests are a great resource for things like coffee, chocolate, and even medicine. However, there are many other reasons why learning about the rainforest and how to preserve it should be important to us as well as future generations.

Wide shot of a mountain in a rainforest

What Is a Rainforest?

It might sound overly simple, but a rainforest is a type of forest that experiences a large amount of rainfall. Despite this requirement, there are two different types of rainforests. A tropical rainforest does not have a dry season, and the area is warm and moist all year. A temperate rainforest can experience cooler temperatures and even get snow. Rainforests can be found all over the world. The Amazon Rainforest, located in South America, is the largest rainforest, with more than 30 million people calling the space home.

Rainforest Animals

Lots of different types of animals and insects can be found in the rainforest. Because the landscape features so many trees, many animals have adapted their lifestyle to spend lots of time up off the ground. This includes animals like chimpanzees and sloths. Other animals have another great way to get around the forest: They glide. Some lizards and frogs are able to use their bodies to glide through the air in open spaces. While we know about a lot of the animals in this area of the world, scientists believe that there could be new species that are still undiscovered.

Rainforest Plants

The tropical rainforest is home to more than two thirds of the world's plant species. These plants need the humid climate in order to thrive. Just like the animals, some of the plants have adapted to the area by living off of the ground: Because of the lack of light and fertile soil, some plants live on other plants in order to survive. Coffee beans grow in this area of the world along with bananas, making the rainforest an important part of a well-balanced breakfast. Beautiful flowers like orchids and poinsettias are also common.

Importance of Preserving Rainforests

Located far away, many people don't think much about the rainforests. However, it is important that everyone work together to preserve these portions of the world. There are several reasons why the destruction of these lands can affect everyone. As deforestation takes place, many plants and animals lose their homes, putting some at risk for extinction. At the same time, the trees being removed are responsible for producing oxygen for us to breathe. When this eco-system is disrupted, oxygen levels decrease and water levels can change, causing droughts.

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